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Discussion Starter #1
The insight looks as if it could stand at least 3/4 inch drop and still not scrape on 99% of the roads I drive on.

I am most intrested in any positive effects on MPG and any possible negative side-effects on ride, handling, cargo capacity etc. Has this been done :?:

Peace
Jon
 

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It might improve the mileage somewhat, and would be swankier. If you could do it without bottoming out (scraping the bottom of the car on things) it's probrably a good plan.

You might have to change the suspension to have less travel, but I don't know if you would or not.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Questions for Resist

1)Are you hypothisizing based on what you think the Coefficient of drag would be reduced by? (seems resonable, what number did you use for CD)

2) Do you know someone who has lowered the car?

3) How much MPG impovement if any did they realize?

It seems that a great degree of engineering has been done around air-flow under the car. I am assuming that with bad luck there could actually be a mileage decrease caused by lowering.

Inquiring minds want to know :)


Peace
Jon
 

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Tire choice will likely affect mileage much more then just dropping the car 3/4".
My car is about 0.7" lower but only because my summer street tires have a diameter 1.5" smaller then OEM. I'm using 195/45R14 Toyo T1R ultra high performance tires.
The car's mileage is about the same as when I used 195/55R14 Toyo T1S tires that have the same diameter as the OEM tires.

Lowering the car will require using much stiffer springs to prevent it from bottom out the suspension. So the suspension will have less travel and the ride will be very rough and uncomfortable. The original dampers (shocks) will not be able to dampen the stiffer springs so stiffer dampers would be required for many reasons specially for safety and performance.

Maintaining a reasonable alignment will require off-center camber bolts or maybe even custom made strut tower camber plates.

I've never heard of anyone that has made these suspension upgrades to their Insight yet. These upgrades can greatly improve handling (if the parts are chosen wisely), but the ride will be extremely uncomfortable specially with the skinny OEM tires pumped up at 45+ psi for better mileage :shock:

BTW:
I don't recomend 195/45R14 tires because the ride is very stiff and uncomfortable.
But the 195/55R14 tires on the other hand are much more comfortable then the OEM tires and provide significantly more grip and performance then the OEM tires.
 

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Lowering the car might make the aerodynamic drag worse! There is a venturi effect between the front of the car and the road, which causes a pressure increase under the front (using energy). The lower you make the car, the worse it gets. This is why a lot of the solar racers you see are high up on their large diameter wheels.
If you were to lower it, AND make a front air dam, that might help, but then again it might make things worse at higher speeds because you'd be creating a lot of negative lift (downforce).
 

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this is called ground efect and racers and speed trails use it to keep car on the ground but it actually, as stated, cost energy in form of drag cohiesion to the road , look up the 1 liter car by vw it is higher through the middle
the ground efect is max at diferent hieghts and speeds at 55-70 mph it is broken at about 4 inces

VW 1 Liter Car
 

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GO FOR IT!!! I notice when my scion xa was loaded from sams club it got better than worse fuel economy. Sure it was lower to the ground.

I found a used set of eibach prosport springs and bam, 2 more mpg.

I got to ferry half of the inventory from sams club his weekend, cant wait to see the results.
 

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Simply lowering it wouldn't be a good idea, unless you live someplace where it never snows :) What I'd like is an adjustable ride height, like some of the older Citroens and some Subarus have. Drop it down for cruising smooth freeways, raise it a couple inches higher than now when you have to drive dirt roads or 6" of fresh snow.
I've been thinking about having an adjustable ride height for a while. Snow and dirt roads are hard to navigate with such a low clearance. But I do a lot of highway driving as well so I would like to lower an inch. Mike's got airbags in his insight to help with weight of the lead in his trunk. What if I took that further and put in full airbag suspension then had a controller on the dash to fill or empty the bags. it's expensive, about $2000 for a setup that I would want and I'm sure there would be some custom building. But it could be done.
 
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